Album Review: Arpeggi – Senioritis

Arpeggi is one of the most-supported artists we’ve covered on the site this year. Not only did their raucous fans manage to win them the NMF contest a few months back, they also shared the heck out of my feature on their Soundcloud tracks. Here’s some coverage of her album Senioritis.

The intro is a rowdy conflagration of riffs and unique rhythm. It sounds a bit like a few songs blended into one, perhaps reflecting the confluence of ideas and emotions that is senior year. It seems thoughtful in an Amanda Palmer’s Dresden Dolls sort of way. It’s followed by “Again and Again,” an art folk piece that makes you think about your place in the world. Instrumentally it’s stripped down and the vocal is distant, one would think intentionally.

“Get a Little Lonely” feels like a 90s grunge tune. The vocal dances quaintly over the guitars. There’s a quiet desperation to the way the lines plod along. The following “Now’s the Time” captures a similar sense of desperate longing, although with a different background. The strings here sound like uke.

“Songs Don’t Help” is the track that won Arpeggi the review. It’s a straight up amazing song. The chord changes develop naturally and the vocal is much stronger than others on the album. It’s easily the best album by Arpeggi. I’m looking forward to hearing more like this one in the future. It’s got a melancholy to it that makes us all hurt, too.

“Folk Free Jazz” is an interesting song. The finger picking gives the intro the hope of a coming Dylan folk song. Instead, the strings veer into a more avant garde dissonant conversation (would that be an argument?). “I’m Lonely and I Want You” feels like a kind of love song and the vocals remind me of “Help Me Ronda” by the Beach Boys when they all sing at the same time with different directions. It would be interesting to hear a different style of production on the song.

Nearing the end of the album “Sea of Love” has a sort of “fits and starts” style to it. But once it gets rolling there’s a seed of a pathbreaking style to it. It sounds like something from the early career of the Strokes. “Casimirpulaskiday” is probably my second favorite on the album, allowing for some of the quality vocals to shine through. The strumming is sweet and really feels like an old 60s flower child singing her heart out. It works.

“Impartial Pendulum” brings the album to a close. It’s similar to some of the other tracks in it having a quality base for a folk song. Something with recording makes the lofi aesthetic really pop on this one.

Sometimes when we feature bands here it’s because they have such an incredible promise to them. The voice on lead for a few of these tracks is really ready to move into higher quality production. There’s a wonderful Greenwich Village folk style present on these tracks and it gives us hope to keep listening for more from Arpeggi.

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